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Beer to Van Briggle



Just a little over a year after he and partners opened Colorado Mountain Brewery near the Air Force Academy, Scott Koons says the group signed a lease last week for a second Colorado Springs location. The spot: the historic Midland Terminal Railroad Roundhouse at 600 S. 21st St., former longtime home of Van Briggle Art Pottery.

The Roundhouse, which has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979, is one of the Springs' signature buildings. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, it was used to maintain steam locomotives for the Colorado Midland Railroad. Later, the famed Van Briggle company occupied the space for more than 50 years.

Koons, head of the Colorado Mountain Brewery's investment group, says the location is only part of much larger expansion plans. "Our goal is to export Colorado in the same way that Texas Roadhouse exports Texas," he says of CMB.

Koons says he plans to be working on a third location at this time next year, with a goal to franchise and ultimately be "the biggest brewpub in the country," taking on the likes of BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse and Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery.

When CMB moves into the roundhouse — it aims to open by late spring or early summer — Koons envisions a taproom-type feel, with CMB beer brought down from the north store, 30 other Colorado micros on tap, and a small in-house brewery devoted to brewing two lagers. The food menu would be roughly 70 percent the same as the north CMB, he says, but with a new, health-focused menu designed with neighboring outfit Carmichael Training Systems.

"I'm all about location," says Koons, who calls the Roundhouse a "unique crossroads."

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